Francis Lai obituary

Composer whose score for the film Love Story perfectly evoked a tale of grand passion cut short and won him an OscarThe French composer Francis Lai, who has died aged 86, enjoyed a diverse career during which he composed the scores for more than 100 films, as well as working in radio and television and writing around 600 songs for many leading singers. It was his score for the film Love Story (1970) that gave him his greatest success. Lai’s poignant piano melody mixed with windswept strings perfectly evoked the film’s tale of a grand passion tragically cut short, and it brought Lai an Oscar for best music, original score, in 1971 – the only one of the film’s seven nominations to win. He also carried off a Golden Globe for best original score. The soundtrack album made it to No 2 in the US chart, while the theme tune, retitled (Where Do I Begin?) Love Story and with lyrics by Carl Sigman, was a No 9 US hit for Andy Williams and reached No 4 in the UK. There was further chart success for orchestral recordings of the tune by Henry Mancini and Lai himself. Continue reading...

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